Make us your home page
Instagram

How to pack for a beach day with your sanity intact

Did you know we're already having unheard of heat?

Forecasters predicted highs would reach record levels all week. Thursday, the temperature is expected to crawl past the previous record and hit at least 94.

So, just for you, food critic Laura Reiley has rounded up some delicious yet adventurous ways to cool off. For this guide to chillaxing, she looked outside the cone and into Tampa Bay's alterna-treats, from Thai rolled ice cream to Hawaiian shave ice.

After you stop at Rita's or Snobachi, it's probably time to hit the beach. But, we need to talk. Beaching, along with camping and basically any outdoor activity that requires setup, can feel totally exhausting and cumbersome. Why is it so much work to connect with nature?

I always end up with the bread at the bottom of the cooler, wet and smashed. I remember six magazines, but forget something vital, like sunscreen.

We're all about hot tips here, so we enlisted Tampa Bay parenting expert Angela Ardolino of parentingwithangela.com, where she hosts a weekly online parenting show. And, she's an experienced cooler packer. Herewith, her advice for not going brain-drippy in this crazy heat.

What are the essentials to pack if you're with family?

First, find a safe, nontoxic sunscreen. Remember hats, sunglasses and clothing to help protect. And water, nonperishable snacks and toys.

What's one thing to keep in your cooler to keep kids happy?

Water with fruit in it, which you can prepare the day before. And containers with easy finger foods.

What should you leave behind?

Electronics! Don't go on a family outing and spend all your time taking photos or looking at your phone.

What's a way to avoid bringing too much?

I like to portion out everything into several small food containers with nonperishables like grapes, cucumber slices, pasta salad, edamame, nuts and pretzels to encourage all-day snacking.

If you're going to the beach solo or in a couple, can you make it in one bag?

Heck, yeah! Or stop by your favorite eatery and get something to go.

What are your favorite products for packing food and drinks?

The Yeti Hopper. Ice stays ice for days in this bag.

If you get to the beach and realize you've forgotten something, what do you do?

Deal with it. Get creative. I love to come up with fun things for my kids to do before we get to the beach. Like search for treasure, build something, investigate creatures, collect shells.

How to pack for a beach day with your sanity intact 05/17/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

    Briefs

    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

    Events

    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
  3. Han Solo movie now in the hands of ... Ron Howard?

    Blogs

    Dear god, I love Ron Howard movies. All of them. Especially Cocoon and Night Shift in the '80s. Particularly The Paper, which is the most accurate comedy I've seen about the newspaper biz. And even Rush, which I was sad to learn was not about the band but instead about Formula 1 …

  4. Take your vacation! Being a work martyr doesn't help

    Travel

    The traditional start of the summer vacation season always produces vacation-themed reports. This year's theme is "vacation shaming."

    This year’s theme is “vacation shaming,” the common workplace condition when employees leave paid vacation time unused because they’re afraid to take time off.
  5. Celebrate Pride with this playlist of LGBTQ musicians

    Essays

    I first came out over a decade ago, early in the torments of middle school and deep in the cornfields of suburban Indiana. To say I was lacking classmates who were out and local queer role models — let alone national ones — feels like an understatement. The school and public libraries offered few LGBTQ …

    Tegan and Sara perform during Splendour in the Grass 2016 on July 24, 2016, in Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)